Something that you may not know about personal injury law is, there are time limits that are imposed on claimants looking to possibly sue someone else who caused an injury to them. You need to do this as soon as possible because there is a statute of limitations on personal injury lawsuits. This means that a state issued time limit is imposed on how long you have to file a claim after an injury.
- 1 What is the Statute of Limitations?
- 2 The U.S. Rules Concerning Personal Injury Law
- 3 Very Strict Rules
- 4 General Length of the Statute of Limitations in Personal Injury Cases
- 5 Circumstances When the Statute of Limitations is Extended
- 6 The Date of Knowledge and When it Begins
- 7 Are You in This Situation?
What is the Statute of Limitations?
In each state in the U.S, there is legal limits that are in place that set a time limit on how long you have to sue for personal injury. If you don’t do it within that designated time frame, your right to collect damages will be null and void from that point forward.
The U.S. Rules Concerning Personal Injury Law
Each state in the United States has made it’s own time limits to collect damages in a lawsuit. You have to file your petition with the local court in your state within the set time frame or statute of limitations. In England, it is a standard time frame of three years across the board regardless.
the deadlines in the U.S. Are non-negotiable. Each state figures the within the time frame that you are given, that you would sue within that time if you have just caused. If it wasn’t a priority when the accident occurred, then why do you need the money that badly now?
Very Strict Rules
The laws concerning the Statute of Limitations on Personal Injury law are very straightforward and strict. Either sue within a state designated amount of reasonable time or face dismissal of your case. There are a few instances in which an extension may be granted, but they are few and far between.
General Length of the Statute of Limitations in Personal Injury Cases
You may live in a state that has a short time limit to file a personal injury case. You need to do research to find out how long you may have. Some states cut off the date of filing suit at a year. That is the shortest range of time. The longest amount of time in some states is 6 years. If you live somewhere that has a statute of limitations of 2 years, you have from the date of the injury to 2 years from that date to file a suit to reclaim lost wages and other damages from the responsible party.
Circumstances When the Statute of Limitations is Extended
In a situation where the plaintiff is unaware of an injury or illness resulting from the negligence of another, the statute of limitations would start from the date in which the plaintiff is aware of the bodily damage which ensued.
In various circumstances, someone may not be aware of the damage they have suffered until much later. For example, workers in dangerous industries that breathe in toxic chemicals can get sick many years later from it. If you can trace a history of poorly ventilated work conditions that caused an illness, you may have a valid case that goes beyond the normal statute of limitations in your state. This is called the date of knowledge.
The Date of Knowledge and When it Begins
This is when the plaintiff knew or had an idea that an injury that they have was directly resulting from the actions of another. There can be a few different dates that qualify in these circumstances.
- When the plaintiff got an official diagnosis from a physician.
- When the symptoms of the illness first became present.
- When an illness was first suspected
- The date of knowledge can be difficult to pinpoint in some cases.
- A plaintiff could go to a physician with complaints of another injury that was misdiagnosed. Later on, the diagnosis changed and was more serious. This would change the date of knowledge.
Are You in This Situation?
Has the statute of limitations passed in your state and you feel you have a prior injury due to someone else? If you are thinking of suing at this point, contact an injury solicitor who can assess the damage and let you know if you should get more medical attention.